Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


Not at all… I asked specifically if one who does not walk in the works God has prepared for him is saved. Did not mention the Eucharist at all. I think you are equating the sacraments with good works. Again, I never mentioned any of the sacraments, we are just discussing faith and works here. I am inquiring about your particular theology as a Catholic Christian because you could answer yes and you could answer no and still be a Catholic Christian.

“It is finished” refers to the fact that scripture has been fulfilled. I you want to argue that it means something like paid in full, that would be another 1200 post thread as would the meaning of John 6.
Let’s just stay focused on one thing at a time.

Incidentally, I’m starting to get the opinion that Catholic Christian = Catholic Calvinist Christian.


You’re very welcome, tgGodsway!

“For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.” Romans 4:2-5, 10, 11 ESV

These verses reference Genesis 15, before Abraham was circumcised.


“Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.” - James 2:21-23 ESV

These verses refer to Genesis 22, after Abraham was circumcised. Nonetheless, the duration from Genesis 15 through 22 clearly shows justification to be a process and not merely a one-time “act”.


Martin Luther added the word alone.


I didn’t say YOU said Abraham justified himself by offering his son… I said James did.

And as I said before, I disagree with the “justification before men” argument but I do agree that while both authors are talking about justification they are not contrasting justification to the same thing and are not contradicting each other.

Also, I just want to note that I sometimes get very focused when responding. Please never take it as arrogant or condescending. I love discussing this issue and I am pretty passionate about it (aside from being right also!) :slight_smile:


That’s the money line - works complete faith


hello Augusttherese, I got your comments. Nice try but hardly.

Four things: Firstly the fact that Abraham wasn’t circumcised in Genesis 15 but later circumcised in Genesis 22 does not connect the dots you say it does. Circumcision was one of many covenant promises to which God reminded Abraham about in Genesis 17.

God did not approach him for the first time in Genesis 17. He got a name change along with orders to be circumcised. None of this suggest Abraham’s standing with God was “pending.”

God spoke to him in the way that He did because Abraham already had a standing with God all the way back to Genesis 12. But it was official in Genesis 15…

Secondly, the Genesis 15 pronouncement of Justification is in the present tense, setting a pattern found in the N.T. There is nothing in the passage to suggest a “pending” justification.

Thirdly, the New Testament reaffirms a one-time justification in the way the Apostle Paul treated the subject in the book of Romans. I cannot find even one Apostle anywhere, who spoke of an on-going justification. (To further complicate this approach, it would require a future judgment over sin at the second coming of Christ. Everyone who studies their bible knows that when Christ comes back He will not be dealing with one’s sins.)

Fourthly and finally, doctrine cannot be called doctrine without the mouth of two or three witnesses. Where does the bible call for an on-going justification? and where are your scriptural witnesses who agree?


You may not know this but its in the story of Moses that Moses was not circumcised.


Forget circumcision, the point was that Abraham was justified by faith in Genesis 15 but again justified by his works in Genesis 22, hence justification is ongoing. Forget your interpretation and read plainly: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works.” James 2:21, 22 ESV

I never said he did; where do you get that from? Perhaps you should quote my words when responding using the bubble-quote feature in the upper-left corner of the comment box. Regardless of what you wrote, if Abraham solely believed without performing the work of offering Isaac, his faith would have been dead, hence he would have lost his initial justification: “Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?” James 2:20 ESV

Yes, of course, there is a one-time justification, amen! But, there is not ONLY a one-time justification; that is the whole point of Saint James’ discourse on faith and works and his use of Abraham being justified not only by his faith in Genesis 15, but also his works in Genesis 22: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works” (James 2:21 ESV). Try not to put justification into this either/or dichotomy (i.e. it is either a one-time event or it is not), but rather a both/and perspective (i.e. it is both a one-time event and an on-going process).

Saint James was an Apostle and wrote: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works” (James 2:21,22 ESV). Again, this event of Abraham offering Isaac occurred much later than when Abraham was initially justified before he was circumcised, so Abraham was initially justified by faith in a one-time event as you mention, but he was also justified by his works and those works made his faith complete. If you cannot see that as a process, then I cannot help you much more.

I do not follow.

What do you mean by scriptural witnesses?


No spina1953. Now that you are saved when you believed in Christ who took all your sin, now you can love him back with your good works. Now you can serve him out of gratitude instead of fear. Your justification is a finished work so now you can spend your time serving for no reason accept love.


Please please give me the exact verse in General.22 where God justified Abraham again! Ive been waiting for this verse from several people on this sight. I am aware of James position but let the witnesses agree. Let’s go further, please show me Paul’s teaching on multiple justificstions. How did Paul teach this?


1 Timothy 5
If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

It is not multiple Justifications, but remaining in the Justification of Christ


“Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” - Genesis 22:2 ESV

“Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?” - James 2:21 ESV

Why are you requesting, “Paul’s teaching on multiple justifications”? Where are you getting this from?


Exactly !

tgGodsway - no one is saying that each event is a subsequent justification. I am pretty sure you would not view sanctification as separate events, correct?


So it needs to be stated by two different authors for it to be true? Was the Holy Spirit confused in James? As AugustTherese has stated several times, its pretty clear in James that works are justifying.

How about Romans 2:6-11 ?
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

Romans 11:22 ?
Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.


tg is trying to “use scripture to interpret scripture”, so quoting James does nothing unless you can find another scripture that agrees with James. Plus I don’t think tg is understanding the concept of progressive justification and is therefore viewing what we are presenting as multiple justifications.


“For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” - Romans 2:13 ESV

"[F]or by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” - Matthew 12:37 ESV

“Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stayed. And that was counted to him as righteousness from generation to generation forever.” - Psalm 106:31 ESV


How do you reconcile Romans 2:13 with the following from Romans 3. Are we justified as doers of the Law or by Faith?

20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law


Works of the law are Jewish/Mosaic ceremonial laws, e.g. circumcision, hence Saint Paul’s unceasing use of the circumcised (Mosaic Jews) and the uncircumcised (Gentiles that do not have works of the law, i.e. circumcision) analogy:

“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?” Romans 3:1 ESV
"What then? Are we Jews any better off?" Romans 3:9 ESV
"Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith." Romans 3:29, 30 ESV

Moreover, have you ever noticed that Saint Paul uses the sentiment ‘works of the law’ when referring to justification by faith, but Saint James uses ‘works’? How come Saint James doesn’t say “works of the law”, but merely “works” when referring to justification? It is because, like mentioned before, Saint Paul is only referring to works of the [Mosaic] law, not the moral law; otherwise this verse would make no sense: " For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified" (Rom. 2:13).


So you are saying that Paul is differentiating between the Mosaic law and the moral law in Romans 2:13. That when he says “doers of the law” he isn’t talking about the Mosaic law?


What I am saying is that when Saint Paul uses the sentiment, “works of the law” he is exclusively referring to the Mosaic Law and not the Decalogue (moral law). He is writing to Jewish Christians that are objecting to Gentiles not doing ‘works of the law’ (uncircumcised).

Read further into Romans 2:

“an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.” Romans 2:20-23 ESV

Stealing and committing adultery are references to the moral law, not the Mosaic Law.

Read Romans 2 and 3 in their context and you will notice that Romans 2 is dealing with the moral law and Romans 3 is dealing with the Mosaic Law.

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